Leeds Trinity University College students went back into occupation this week. The campaign in general is designed to oppose all cuts, especially at Leeds Trinity University College (LTUC) where severe funding cuts are taking place.
Andy Smith, Leeds Trinity Socialist Students
The university has already made some cuts without informing anyone, least of all the union that represents the staff affected. We demand this stops and that decisions of changes to the university are not taken behind closed doors.
We also demand that the university accounts are opened to inspections by representatives of our campaign and the students union and campus trade unions.
Following the previous occupation in December, people are engaging very quickly with the tasks in hand. We’ve received much greater press coverage this time around, with an interview almost as soon as we re-occupied with BBC Radio Leeds’ Richard Edwards on the Drivetime evening show.
This perked everybody up and caused some excitement and nerves as it was carried out live. The interview involved talking about the point of the occupation considering the tuition fee rise has already been passed in parliament, the effect of the UCU report suggesting that LTUC is at high risk, and the apathy students are being accused of.
We raised that there are still actions being carried out against cuts such as EMA. The need for these things has not changed just because the coalition government has axed needed funding.
We will be marching in Leeds on 11 January to tell the Con-Dems that these issues are not going to go away and the students, both college and university, are determined to see this campaign through until the government is forced to listen.
The tactics shown so far by the government do not deter protesters and will not stop the campaign to demand what is right. Students have led the way in demonstrating against the cuts so far, and the unions are beginning to fight back.
The UCU report into the effect of the education cuts contains facts and figures that suggest just how harshly these cuts are going to affect all universities but particularly smaller universities like LTUC.
Everybody who is ‘in this together’ needs to show how strongly the unions and individuals are in it together and working towards opposing the cuts. Students are out in force protesting and organising throughout the country. They are getting involved and they are planning, they are certainly not the apathetic layabouts portrayed by right wing media.
It is true that in the recent period prior to the movement of the last few months, many may have felt genuinely hopeless, feeling that there is nothing that can be achieved or done about any of the things the undemocratically elected government have done or are doing.
But a major point of our occupation and every other protest and demonstration that has taken place, is to change this situation, to give a voice to people who thought they would be ignored if they objected, to say that things need to change and we fully intend to do just that and inspire others on campus to join with us